To torture or not to torture
In medieval times torture was used extensively to obtain information, confessions or whatever. In Britain they discontinued the use of torture as a means of determining the truth in the 17th century. It seems people would confess to all sorts of vile and nasty things just to stop the pain, so they recognized torture was a measure of one’s ability to withstand all sorts of things rather than a truth-gatherer.
Remember in the movie “Braveheart” William Wallace was tortured to convince him to swear allegiance to the king. He was put on a rack and eventually disemboweled alive, yet he wouldn’t break.
Now, I think we can all agree that torture is not a good thing. But, one has to arrive at a definition of what actually constitutes “torture” to be on firm ground. I, for one, think reading columnists E.J. Dionne or Richard Cohen is torture and should be forbidden by the Geneva Convention, but there are others, I’m sure, who’d disagree with that depending upon which side of the political spectrum they are. The dictionary defines torture as, “the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.”
There are many out there who will say the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the CIA and others on terror suspects were “torture”. Waterboarding, the technique that makes a suspect think he’s drowning when he actually isn’t, is not very nice, but it sure is effective.
The CIA has estimated up to 70 percent of what it knows about Osama bin Laden’s terrorist empire had been obtained through “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Kalid Sheik Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 operation, apparently sang like a bird when given the waterboard bath.
CIA Director and soon-to-be Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, at first hemmed and hawed when asked about those enhanced interrogation techniques and if they had a role in the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, then finally fessed up saying: “That’s correct.” So, he stated the obvious when he indicated enhanced interrogation helped lead to bin Laden’s death.
Michael Hayden, Mr. Panetta’s predecessor at the CIA, said in a radio interview there was a straight line between the intelligence gleaned from interrogations of terrorist suspects and the moment a Navy Seal put a round into bin Laden’s head. Indeed, the statements by Messrs. Panetta and Hayden were perfectly obvious to all but those too weak or delicate to look at the world as it really is.
Now the nattering ninnies of the mainstream media are certainly amongst those weak and delicate souls who, along with the New York Times, insist that waterboarding and other memory enhancers contributed only a “small role at most” in exposing the location of bin Laden’s hidey hole. The Washington Post’s sob sister, Eugene Robinson, was not present when interrogators revealed the name and significance of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, bin Laden’s favorite courier, yet insisted there was “no proof” torture “cracked the case”. Again, that pejorative use of the word “torture.”
The pious and sanctimoniously self-righteous are unable to make a fuss of sentiments of gratitude and celebration felt by most of the sane and sensible among our citizens. In fact, they are seriously cross and aggravated at the accomplishment of those Navy Seals aided by the CIA interrogators. Nor would they even consider how much Barack Hussein Obama and the rest of us owe George W. Bush who put into place the means and methods used to run bin Laden to ground. Or, if you wish, dumped into the sea for fish bait.
I suppose we should be happy that someone up in the D.C. swamp decided to go ahead and finish off bin Laden. Hopefully, those people up there will do whatever is necessary to protect the homeland and leave the clichéd piety to the pompous bloviators of the press and tube.